What's Your Nature?

Become a Nature Up North explorer to share your encounters with wild things and wild places in New York's North Country. Post your wildlife sightings, landscape shots, photos from your outings, and even you organization's events!

Just Our Nature - news, updates and insights

Earth Day 7K Recap

By Jacob Malcomb on April 26, 2016
Breezy spring weather greeted the 62 runners and walkers who attended the first annual Nature Up North – St. Lawrence Land Trust Earth Day 7K on Saturday, April 23rd in Canton.  The 7 kilometer (4.4mi) course connected the Kip and Saddlemire Trails on the St. Lawrence University campus, passing through scenic forests, fields, and wetlands along the Little River. Racers met mostly dry trail…
Blog category: Just Our Nature

Coltsfoot: Eye Candy and Cough Syrup

By Paul J. Hetzler on April 19, 2016
I haven’t checked with an optometrist, but I may have a winter-related vision problem. When five or six months of winter-white finally give way to a mostly brown world each early spring, my eyeballs hurt—they ache for something bright in the landscape. That’s probably why I plant a few additional crocus bulbs in the yard every fall, and why I search wooded areas for early-blooming native…
Blog category:

What Causes Maple Decline?

By Jacob Malcomb on April 16, 2016
  As the 2016 maple sugaring comes to a close, many Northern New York maple producers are calling it a good year. The sap ran early – some local producers report boiling their first batch in late January – and kicked up again in March and early April, leading to solid yields across the region. But even as we celebrate a successful maple season, recent research calls into question the vitality of…
Blog category: Just Our Nature

Citizen Science in the North Country

By Lizz Muller on April 14, 2016
On a snowy morning in April, students in Suzanne Creurer's seventh grade Technology class at Canton Central School took a field trip into the woods. Their destination was the maple tree grove, and their purpose was citizen science (citizen science relies on the general public to collect data about the natural world for scientific research). As a group, they work with Nature Up North on the…
Jake Malcomb, the project manager for Nature Up North, works with students at Canton Central School on the Monitor My Maple project.
Blog category: Just Our Nature

What is Citizen Science?

By Jane Eifert on April 9, 2016
 After a long North Country winter few sights and sounds are more welcome than signs of spring – the year’s first blooming crocus, the call of a red-winged blackbird, a chorus of spring peepers. Many of us post Facebook photos of daffodils and rivers rushing with snowmelt as a celebration of the seasons changing. But what if our observations of the natural world could also be useful to science? …
Blog category: Just Our Nature

Maple Weekend 2016

By Imman Merdan on April 5, 2016
Maple season is not considered to be one of the four seasons, but for those in the North Country, it is the sweetest. New York State Maple Weekend, which this year took place on March 19-20 and April 2-3 this year, is a celebration of the maple season and an opportunity for the public to see how maple syrup, candies, and other sweet treats are made. On April 2nd we caught up with St. Lawrence…
Blog category: Farmed and Foraged

Warm Up the Organs to Make Music

By Paul J. Hetzler on April 4, 2016
Every spring, Mother Nature takes the choir out of the freezer. And sometimes, this year for example, she pops them back in for a while. The choir to which I refer is that all-male horde of early-spring frogs: spring peepers, wood frogs, and chorus frogs. Even while an ice rind still clings to the pond edges, untold numbers of these guys roust themselves from torpor to sing for female attention.…
Blog category: Just Our Nature

Lisbon Primitive Snowshoe Biathlon 2016

By Anna Hughes on April 4, 2016
On a clear late-winter day a man walks through a birch forest, his ash-framed snowshoes crunching over the crusty snow. Swinging by his side is his shooting pouch holding black powder, and in his left hand is a flintlock muzzleloader. He stops, takes out his black powder and loads the rifle while eyeing up the nearby targets.  As he aims there is a brief pause as if everything in the woods held…
Blog category: Just Our Nature

Forest Succession: A Living Symphony

By Paul J. Hetzler on March 24, 2016
Senescence is the decline in vigor that happens to all creatures great and diminutive as they close in on the life expectancy of their species. People my age suddenly find they require reading glasses to see the phone book. Though I suppose by definition anyone still using a phone book is old enough to need glasses, right? The onset of this process varies—you probably know of families whose…
Blog category: Just Our Nature

The Shades of March: A Photo Blog

By Lizz Muller on March 15, 2016
Transitions between seasons often seem drab and monotonous. The glistening snow and ice sculptures of winter are left behind, and summer's vibrant palette has not yet arrived. But beauty lies in the eye of the beholder, and March has more to give then it might seem. Patches of green can be spotted nestled in the thawing ground, and melting ice leaves reflective mirrors in its place. Spring is a…
Blog category: Just Our Nature